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  1. #1
    rodbox5's Avatar
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    Default Alternative Battery



    I purchased a Sky Watcher single axis motor drive for my EQ5 mount.

    I'm fed up purchasing D cell batteries and having to replace them every other day and the rechargeable D cell batteries you can purchase don't seem to work well with my system (I guess because they're only 1.2 volt not 1.5V). I'm therefore thinking of purchasing a 6 volt 12 Amp sealed lead acid battery and making up a compact power caddy to replace the D Cell batteries.

    As the motor will only draw as much current as it needs, I can't see anything wrong with this strategy, however a number of folk in the U.S. who have used a mains supply plug and 6 Volt DC power adapter, claim they burned out the drive controller on their systems.

    Am I missing something here - or is my idea sound enough?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    Are you sure it is 6 volts? Most astro equipment runs on 12 volts. Double-check your mount's power requirements to be sure.

    There is nothing wrong with your approach. Most of us have a (12 volt) battery pack of some sort. Even those who routinely run off the mains power have one for use at remote sites, star parties and such.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    The SkyWatcher single axis drive is powered by 4 "D" cell batteries at 1.5 volts per. There is nothing wrong with your idea of using the 6v 12Ah battery.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    Sounds like a good idea, but consider buying a powered wheelchair deepcycle battery. I have 2 twelve volt versions of these and they work great and cost $50 US each. They are designed for frequent deep discharge. Something like this ecomElectronics.com - Power-Sonic - PS-6450 6V 4.5AH ALARM AND WHEELCHAIR BATTERY - 6 Pack - PS-640FMP6. This particular battery might be difficult to get in Australia, but something similar must be available.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    I got two of the 6 Volt 12 Amp sealed batteries for $18 each.
    I got an intelligent charger for another $16
    I got a small plastic carry-all tool box from Bunnings for $4.00.
    I cut the lead of an old power supply to make up a plug in connection to the drive controller.
    All the components fit in the tool caddy perfectly and it sits underneath the mount and out of the way just fine.
    I can connect the batteries in parallel and get 6.3 V - 24 amps - and if I later need 12 volts I can reconnect them in series and get 12 volts - 12 Amps.

    Total cost was $56 and it works - I'm sure happy with that!
    Last edited by rodbox5; 05-14-2014 at 04:34 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    You could set it up as a dual voltage supply, 12V and 6V. There's a lot of use for a standard 12V supply to power a bunch of different gizmos. I doubt you'll ever need 24 amps @ 6V. By using a double throw double pole switch, you can select which battery to use for the drive and switch to the other when it gets low.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by rodbox5 View Post
    I got two of the 6 Volt 12 Amp sealed batteries for $18 each.
    I got an intelligent charger for another $16
    I got a small plastic carry-all tool box from Bunnings for $4.00.
    I cut the lead of an old power supply to make up a plug in connection to the drive controller.
    All the components fit in the tool caddy perfectly and it sits underneath the mount and out of the way just fine.
    I can connect the batteries in parallel and get 6.3 V - 24 amps - and if I later need 12 volts I can reconnect them in series and get 12 volts - 12 Amps.

    Total cost was $56 and it works - I'm sure happy with that!
    Sounds good!

    Just a note on units. That 12 (or 24) "amps" is in fact amp-hours, not amps. A 12 amp-hour battery can deliver anywhere from zero to several hundred amps. The amp-hour rating tells you how long it can deliver a particular level of current, not how much current it can deliver.

    12 amp-hours means 1 amp for 12 hours or 12 amps for 1 hour, or any other combination that multiplies out to 12.

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  8. #8
    rodbox5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternative Battery

    Yes indeed - Amp/Hours is the thing.

    Since the motor draws slightly less than an Amp, I figure the batteries will last me a long week end of viewing without recharge, which is good for going away.

 

 

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